Legislative Alert: States' Rights for Marijuana | Ban the Box Impact | Metro Screening Battle
- Act Could Strengthen States’ Rights in Marijuana Battle
- GAO Asked to Review Ban the Box
- DC Metro Sues its Union over Background Checks
Act Could Strengthen States’ Rights in Marijuana Battle
A bi-partisan bill has been proposed in the Senate that would remove all federal control of marijuana and put the future of legalization in the hands of the individual states. The Strengthening the Tenth Amendment Through Entrusting States Act – or the STATES Act – is sponsored by Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Senator Corey Gardner (R-CO). It exempts any state that has legalized some form of cannabis from the current federal law. That means it takes all enforcement out of the hands of the federal government. If passed, federal agents would not be able to raid lawful, state-licensed businesses. The bill amends the Controlled Substances Act which completely outlaws all use of marijuana. The STATES Act would also legalize industrial hemp and lift restrictions on banking by stating that compliant banking transactions are not “trafficking.”
GAO Asked to Review Ban the Box
Several House Republicans have asked the General Accounting Office (GAO) to look at the hires that have been made since the federal government instituted Ban the Box policies in 2016 to see if there have been any unintended consequences. Under the current policies, agencies may not ask applicants any questions about their criminal or credit history until after a conditional offer of employment is made. There are exceptions for law enforcement and a few other sensitive positions. But the lawmakers are worried that banning the box might actually cause hiring managers to make assumptions about people’s past based on race alone. The policy is not yet law, and lawmakers want to know how it’s working before Congress considers pending legislation.
DC Metro Sues its Union over Background Checks
DC’s Metro System and the union that represents rail and bus employees are in a battle over the expansion of the agency’s background check policy. The Metro plans to add random screening of current workers in addition to pre-employment background checks. The union is challenging the plan and had an arbitration meeting scheduled for June 19th. But the Metro asked a federal judge to step in and stop the hearing because the agreement the union signed gives all decisions on how to hire and fire to the Metro. The union is concerned that the additional screens will impact a large number of current employees.